An Arkansas man said he was "tickled to death" upon hearing the news that the clear "piece of glass" that he casually pocketed during a trip to Crater of Diamonds State Park earlier this year was actually a 4.87-carat diamond.
Jerry Evans of Lepanto, AR, and his girlfriend had made the 280-mile drive to the park in Murfreesboro this past spring to enjoy a day at the only diamond site in the world that’s open to the general public. After only 10 minutes of searching, Evans plucked a pyramid-shaped stone the size of a jellybean from the top of a plowed ridge.
"I thought it might be a piece of glass, it was so clear. I really didn't know," Evans told park officials. "We were picking up everything thinking it was a diamond."
Hardly convinced that he had discovered anything of value, Evans decided to forego the opportunity to have the stone identified by park officials and returned home later that day with it tucked in his pocket.
As time passed, Evans had second thoughts about the odd-shaped stone and sent it off to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) for a conclusive answer. The GIA responded with the news that the stone was, indeed, a near-colorless diamond.
"When they called and told me it was real, I was tickled to death," Evans told park officials.
Encouraged by his son, Evans contacted Crater of Diamonds State Park with the exciting news, and soon returned to Murfreesboro to have the stone officially registered.
“Mr. Evans’ diamond is spectacular to see," Assistant Park Superintendent Waymon Cox told media outlets. "It’s a complete crystal with a brilliant white color reminiscent of many other large, white diamonds I’ve seen from here in the past.”
As is tradition at Crater of Diamonds State Park, those who find newsworthy gemstones get to name their discoveries. Appropriately, Evans named the 4.87-carat gem the "Evans Diamond."
The Evans Diamond is the largest recovered at the park since Kevin Kinard of Maumelle, AR, discovered a 9.07-carat brown diamond on Labor Day 2020.
Nearly 800 diamonds have been registered at Crater of Diamonds State Park in 2023, totaling more than 125 carats. Over the 51-year history of the park, visitors have unearthed more than 36,000 diamonds.
Prospectors of all ages get to scour the 37½-acre search field, which is actually the exposed eroded surface of an ancient diamond-bearing kimberlite pipe.
Credits: Images courtesy of Crater of Diamonds State Park.